Wrestling gimmicks have come a long way since the days of old. In a sport that grew from the roots of two brute strongmen in a grappling contest to the glimmer and spectacle it has become, you would think that the wrestling world was out of things that surprised me. From “Gorgeous” George to Adrian Street all the way down to the “New Day” endlessly gyrating while wearing mythically phallic horns on their heads, the galaxy of wrestling superstars has given us many memorable characters that left us in absolute shock and awe and have often had us scratching our heads in wonder, contemplating how such characters could even exist or be fathomed up inside a normal human brain.
With that being said forget what you know about creating a strange identity and getting it over. Regardless of what you come up with, it pales in comparison to a 250 lb wrestling superhero, donning both tights and a cape reminiscent of the old Adam West “Batman” TV show or Christopher Reeve’s look in the heralded “Superman” franchise. Not too out there for 2016, right? Wrong; Because this wrestling superstar also wears a foot and half tall mask made to look like a box of breakfast cereal on his head.
His name is “Cereal Man” to the masses, and despite the eye rolls of wrestling snobs & traditionalists, he is blowing up the independent circuit with his trademark look and a brand new type of entertainment for wrestling fans. While he has competed in other legitimate promotions such as the NWA and Freakshow Wrestling, “Cereal Man” is mostly a mainstay in the upstart Oakland based promotion “Hoodslam”, which many people are calling “the next ECW” in terms of product, popularity growth and how far this promotion has gone to push the envelope in a time where most every other promotion is frankly, too scared to do so. As I watch “Cereal Man” compete in an inter-gender match against his opponent Brittany Wonder (who on this occasion, was dressed like video game character “Duke Nukem”) the crowd erupts with the chant “This is Breakfast” right before he sends her face first into the turnbuckle. I am so entertained that I cannot even believe it. While the action continues, the referee spits out instructions to the competitors in between puffs of a blunt. Yes, you read that correctly. The referee spends the duration of the match smoking a joint while the action unfolds. The crowd is with it; sucked into every little piece of storytelling going on in the ring. Just watching it unfold on youtube makes me wish I was elbow to elbow with 1,000 other people in that smoky arena witnessing this “Hoodslam” show live, because it truly appears to be something special. As “Cereal Man” levels Brittany with a boot the face the crowd lets out a loud exasperated groan right along with me. I am sucked into the action, sitting 6 inches away from my computer screen cheering right along as “Cereal Man” plays heel to the crowd and Brittany Wonder has someone slip a large plastic gun into the ring, resulting in the matches chaotic ending. The crowd goes ballistic as Brittany hits her finisher and pins the breakfast super hero in the center of the ring.
“What the hell did I just watch?” I said out loud, right before copying the link to text to a friend. I was completely in awe. As I checked out some other “Cereal Man” matches, I constantly found myself glancing at my phone waiting for my friend on the other end to reply. After about a half hour had passed, he was left with the same question I had.
“What in the hell did you just send me, Hahaha!” was his reply. For the next two hours we texted back and forth as the breakfast time superstar was our lone focal point. Every match, every moment, every tidbit we could find we dug up. We were like junkies looking for a fix and finding it in a grown man who has chosen to wear a cereal box atop his head. It was as if we were watching the living embodyment of the “Ren & Stimpy” character “Powdered Toast Man” wrestling in a real life ring against opponents ranging from female wrestlers all the way down to some insane person wearing a giant robot grabbing device (I am not even close to making this up.) All of this considered, It didnt suprise me at all to learn “Cereal Man” was trained by “The Wizard of Odd” Brian Kendrick, who is also know for creating lavish characters with unique personas.
Yes, I will admit with such a strong gimmick, sometimes the wrestling seems secondary, but “Cereal Man” seems to take it in stride and forge ahead for the sake of the fans entertainment, and in return, we admittingly love him for it. Check out any of “Cereal Man’s” matches via youtube and prepare to go down a rabbit hole of entertainment and remember wrestling fans, “Breakfast” is the most important wrestler of the day.You can catch “Cereal Man” regularly wrestling for “Hoodslam” and be sure to follow him on twitter.
**photo courtesy of Cereal Man’s Twitter page**